UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Diffuse and global solar spectral irradiance under cloudless skies: a simple model Brine, Douglas Toby


A simple empirical model to calculate solar spectral diffuse and global irradiance under cloudless skies was investigated. This formulation takes into account absorption of radiation by molecules such as O3, H2O and the uniformly-mixed absorbing gases CO2 and O2. Attenuation by Rayleigh-scattering and aerosol extinction are included. Aerosol attenuation is calculated through Angstrom's turbidity parameters α and β. The diffuse radiation is assumed to be composed of three parts: (1) Rayleigh-scattered diffuse irradiance; (2) aerosol-scattered diffuse irradiance; and (3) irradiance arising out of multiple reflections between the atmosphere and the ground. The global irradiance is the sum of these three components of diffuse irradiance plus the direct irradiance. The input parameters include an extraterrestrial spectrum, zenith angle θ, turbidity coefficient β, wavelength exponent α, ground albedo p , water vapor content and ozone content. The model is shown to yield very good results up to air mass two when compared to accurate theoretical calculations. No comparisons with measured spectra are presented because of a lack of accurate specifications of the input parameters. Results are presented to show the effect of variation of certain of the input parameters.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.